Ryne Sandberg played Hall of Fame ball in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, after earning the second big league 'promotion' of his career, he's set for a major challenge. But, will this Philadelphia Phillies' opportunity prove to be lengthy?
As long as 'Ryno' demonstrates that he's competent, he should work as a manager somewhere in the major leagues for awhile. The bait within that last statement obviously implies that the newly-hired skipper might not remain in Philadelphia forever, or even for long.
It's hard to imagine Sandberg being able to lead this particular group of Phillies to anywhere in particular through the end of this season. Unless the organization dismisses general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., as it collectively did yesterday to Charlie Manuel, it seems more than plausible that the team's newest manager would have his title adjusted from 'interim' to 'permanent' shortly after the regular season ends.
Heading into next season, with what may be a similar set of circumstances, one wonders how much better this team will be able to perform. If 2014 plays out as another non-playoff year, what happens then?
The next number to watch for will involve the length of years that Sandberg will be offered if his managerial contract is extended. While all long-term deals can be bought out, the Phillies might not be inclined to offer any dugout leader an extended period of financial security during a time of significant upheaval and uncertainty.